Voodoo, New Orleans
Creepy shop - but fun to browse. They sell all kinds of weird spells, candles, books of voodoo, gris gris, ingredients for potions as well as masks and tribal stuff from around the world. Definitely have a look-see - but do not take photos! There are signs everywhere, and the staff will give you the stink-eye. The sign at the altar says that taking photos will steal the soul...
What to buy: Well, since I didn't have a specific need for chicken feet or love potions, I bought a couple of creepy postcards... :-)
Wish I could remember the name of this store, but it was one of about 10 that we went in one evening! As you can see from the accompanying picture , the skeleton is in the driver's seat of an antique hearse! You see stuff all over the French Quarter like this, and this is what makes the whole place so unique~~a little erie perhaps but unique! This store sold every kind of souvenir you could want and also Mardi Gras related items like beads (see the neon sign in the photo), and feather masks.
Sometimes when cruise ships visit New Orleans, they have a "Mardi Gras" sailaway party on deck in the evening and ask people to come in costume if they like. It's fun to buy some of these very beautiful feather masks to parade around in and the best part is that they are very reasonable. In some stores you will somewhat elaborate feather masks for under $10. Add a few strings of Mardi Gras beads and you have a pretty festive outfit!!
What to buy: I only bought post cards, but you can get almost any tacky souvenir you want here like most other similar shops in New Orleans.
What to pay: All items except postcards (50cents) are $1 and up.
New Orleans takes even its Voodoo seriously and this shop has just about anything in the realm of Voodoo you could possibly be looking for. It's crammed with stuff and certainly worth a peek even if you are not looking to inflict pain on an ex who dumped you 10 years ago.
One of the interesting shops we went into down in the French Quarter was a doll shop which specialized in voodoo dolls. Although I do not know much about voodoo dolls, I do know that they have quite a few cute big lipped dolls throughout the stores, with some great craftsmanship.
The dolls came in all sizes, from a keychain sized one up to a full sized doll. There were also some picture prints and also some hand painted items in the store, but the emphasis was on the voodoo doll in the store.
What to pay: The smallest key chains were $3, and the larger ones were closer to $100.
I should almost put Reverend Zombie's in the tourist traps because they sell a lot of over-priced touristy junk, but it's such a cool place to check out that I think it's worth visiting. There is a Voodoo altar on your left when you come in the front door and the place is just loaded with creepy-looking African masks, candles, books, and do-it-yourself spells kits. It's really kind of fun as long as you keep in mind that you can buy a prayer candle in the grocery store for $1, not the $20 that they charge!
What to buy: They have a few unique items here that I'm sure you'd have a hard time finding elsewhere: chicken foot necklaces and aligator claws, to name just two. They also do fortune telling and palm reading in the back room, if you're into that sort of thing.
Jazz Funeral is a store filled with New Orleans gadgets. Beads, boas and masks for mardi gras. Statues made of alligator (parts). Voodoo dolls. And the highlight of the store is the carriage with the skeleton.
Just fun to browse through.
( Jazz Funerals are a unique New Orleans tradition. When old-time jazz musicians die a musical funeral is held. Mourners are dressed in colorful costumes and follow a band which plays slow music on the way to the cemetery. Once the body has been laid to rest joyful music is celebrating the release of the deceased's soul. )
What to buy: There are a lot of fancy souvenirs for sale in New Orleans. Many of them are colorful and at least strange. Like the voodoo dolls in this picture. They are not that expensive, these were only 1 dollar each. So they can make nice little gifts.